Another piece of video that I’d really prefer not to exist. This has never been shown anywhere before – a Leaving Fundamentalism exclusive. It was shot for Video Nation, but never broadcast. I guess I just like embarrassing myself in public.
I had recorded a video response to this. I was in Manchester a couple of weeks ago shooting something for TV, and I ended up talking to them about all the same stuff. They asked me not to put my recent thoughts online until after they broadcast my interview. I could just ignore them, but they asked so nicely that I’ll just post this online. I think it might be a good thing not to have my current thoughts on the video. I don’t have to tell you what to think about it; you’re all capable of drawing your own conclusions.
The continued popularity of praying in tongues among charismatics and pentecostals is interesting, because it’s a fundamentally weird and embarrassing activity. You’ll notice that I didn’t actually pray in tongues in the video, even though I could have. I didn’t feel comfortable doing it in front of anyone who didn’t already pray in tongues themselves.
Even so, among Christians of my sort, you were considered a second-class believer if you didn’t pray in tongues. And I think the explanation for this is in Robert Cialdini’s commitment and consistency principle. The deeper a commitment you’ve made to something, the harder it is to leave. And praying in tongues clearly identifies you as a very particular type of person. It changes the way you think about yourself.